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African Union, conflict, and conflict resolution in Africa: A comparative analysis of the recent Kenya and Zimbabwe conflict


  • Ikejiaku, Brian-Vincent
  • Dauda, Jubril


This paper examines African conflicts and the roles of the African Union (AU) in conflict resolution, focusing on the recent Zimbabwe and Kenya conflicts. Two conflict and conflict resolution theories: Hobessian realism and Burton's human needs theory were considered. This paper finds that ethnicity, elections in Africa, colonial manipulation of Africa's boundary, and longstanding land struggle contribute to Africa's conflicts; employing a comparative perspective however, it contends that the primary cause of the Zimbabwe and Kenya conflicts is the failure of the governments of Mugabe and Kibaki to address the basic needs of the people. This paper concludes that unlike other conflict resolution theories/mechanisms, the AU should stress the improvement of the governance institution in order to persuade the governments in Africa to respond to the basic needs of the populations. This is the major stipulation of needs theory, which is compelling for understanding the causes of conflict and conflict resolution in Africa.

Suggested Citation

  • Ikejiaku, Brian-Vincent & Dauda, Jubril, 2011. "African Union, conflict, and conflict resolution in Africa: A comparative analysis of the recent Kenya and Zimbabwe conflict," International Journal of Development and Conflict, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 61-83.
  • Handle: RePEc:gok:ijdcv1:v:1:y:2011:i:1:p:61-83

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